Jim McDonald's Performance and Writing News
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Agatha Christie at Lind Lane, Sunshine Coast Daily, 20 June 2007
Tackling anti-terror laws in play, Sunshine Coast Daily, 13 September 2007
Plays, theatre and drama books recently read or re-read [from Nov 2007]:
31 July 2008
Alan Bennett, Talking Heads
Tim Fountain, So you want to be a playwright?
Anne Nicholson- Weber, Upstaged : making theatre in the media age
Lyn Wallis, In good company : a manual for producing independent theatre
Martin Jans, Stage make-up techniques : the art of doing stage make-up Michael Feeney Callan, Sean Connery
Liz Jones ed., The La Mama collection : six plays for the 1990s
Richard Mangan , ed. Gielgud's letters
Ray Barrett, An Autobiography
John Parker, Richard Gere : the flesh and the spirit
Terence Crawford, Trade Secrets, Australian actors and their craft.
Chris Mead, What is an Australian play?
Kristian Anderson & Imogen Ross, Performance Design in Australia
Bruce Shapiro, Speaking American
Lyn Wallis, In Good Company
David Hare, The Vertical Hours
Ray Lawler, Kid Stakes
Ray Lawler, Other Times
Joan Littlewood, Joan's Book
Harold Pinter, Old Times
William Hall, 70 not out [Michael Caine]
Michael Gurr, Crazy Brave
Hilary Glow, Power Plays - Australian Theatre and the Public Agenda
Laurence Olivier, Confessiona of an Actor
Peter Schafer, Equus
John Osborne, Look Back in Anger
Arthur Miller, All My Sons
David Mamet, True and False: Heresy and common sense for the actor
Films of plays recently viewed or re-viewed:
26 Dec 2007
An Ideal Husband
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Angels in America
The Producers (2005)
The Producers (1968)
Latest News 2008:
11 August 2009
Satire Writing Course
I am attending a satire writing course run by Queensland Theatre Company. The course is entitled Taking Aim. Running the course is Guy Rundle and Max Gillies. The end result will be a Revue at the Billie Brown Theatre [$10 tickets]. Book here.
12 January 2009
Golightly Theatre Chronicle has ISSN
The Golightly Theatre Chronicle now has an ISSN number. This will appear on all issues of the Newsletter from now on. "ISSN" stands for "International Standard Serial Number" and it means that the Newsletter is now officially identified as a serial publication and recorded on an international database. The ISSN process is administered in Australia by the National Library of Australia. So, a new title; an ISSN; ten editions since the project started; continued circulation of the Bulletins updating information between editions [around 50]: the Newsletter is now esconced as part of the theatre scene on the Sunshine Coast - part of the process of keeping actors and theatre lovers informed. Having an ISSN in part determines that the Golightly Theatre Chronicle will continue to have a monthly edition, although the exact format is yet to be finalised.
17 December 2008
Local Community Radio interview
With local director and actor, Jennifer Rousset, I was interviewed on Diet Simons's weekly radio program, "All Over the Place", on what's on in Sunshine Coast theatres over the summer.
9 December 2008
Queensland Theatre Company Playwriting Masterclass
I attended a masterclass at Queensland Theatre Company on Saturday, 6 December with around twenty other talented writers across all age groups. The seminar was jointly sponsored by Queensland Theatre Company and Playlab. The sessions were run in the morning by David Williamson and in the afternoon by up-and-coming playwright, Tom Holloway, who was Currency Press's Author of the Month in July 2008. Holloway's latest play, Don't Say the Words, was produced by Griffin Theatre in July, 2008. One of the major things I learned was that all the major things I had learned were the right things to be realising. The importance of story in drama being one of them. Participants were asked to produce - with a few days' notice a two-page script on a specific topic. Each of these was cold-read to the group and discussed by David Williamson, the group and the writers. It was a marvellous and focussing experience working with Australia's most successful playwright and a relatively new playwright together with such a group of talented emerging writers from Brisbane and further afield.
26 November 2008
Living in the Sixties hits its mark
Living in the Sixties was a great success according to TMLT Titbits, the Newsletter of the Tamborine Mountain Little Theatre:
Warrick Bailey's production of Sunshine Coast playwright Jim McDonald's Living in the Sixties, brought back memories to those of us who were young aduts in the days of Dylan, kombis and Vespas. Conversations overheard during the interval showed just how relevant this play was to many in the audience....
22 October 2008
Living in the Sixties
Living in the Sixties will première at Tambourine Mountain Little Theatre Group on 1, 7 & 8 November. Details here.
1 October 2008
A hiatus of sorts in October and November
Any thought of onstage work is on hold over October-November as I recover from surgery. However, sporting a bionic hip, I will be ready for anything after that! That is not to say that things theatrical are on the back-burner. There are plays to be written and revised, and I am contemplating a production of A Doorknock Away in the new year as producer and director. At the same time, I will be writing the eighth edition of the actors' e-newsletter for November [see September's edition]. There are now over 90 subscribers.
21 August 2008
Living in the Sixties to have its premiere in October
The one-act play, Living in the Sixties, will have its premiere with the Tamborine Mountain Little Theatre Group at the end of October 2008. Auditions have been called and rehearsals have commenced. The original version of the play has undergone some significant re-writing in recent weeks. Living in the Sixties is a 40 minute one-act play. It was my first completed play and was originally written in 2006.
13 August 2008
Sunshine Coast Actors' newsletter enters its sixth month
SCAN news, the Sunshine Coast Actors Network e-newletter has had five editions The latest - for August - has been distributed to subscribers and the July edition is posted on this site. Anyone can subscribe - you don't have to be a Sunshine Coast actor - or even an actor - by following the instructions at the beginning of the newsletter. The September newsletter will be compiled during August.
12 August 2008
First draft of Spooked completed
The first draft of the play, Spooked, was completed today. The play deals with with contemporary social and migrant issues. Misha - a former refugee from Eastern Europe - runs a suburban pasta cafe with his wife, Lena. Frank is a regular customer who helps out in the cafe. He introduces his new girl-friend to Misha and Lena. After twenty-five years married to Lena, Misha reveals to her for the first time he was brought up a Muslim. He fears he is being watched and spied upon by ASIO because of his background, and fears he will be jailed. His fears are fed by the appearance of a shadowy public servant, who starts frequenting his cafe. His paranoia is justified but not for what he fears. His past catches up with him. The play, which has taken nine months to get to this stage, is full length with 8 scenes and will run for approximately 90 minutes.
4 July 2008
"It's opening night. It's opening night..." tonight! The preview last night.... I have enjoyed building my roles. I have two bit parts in the first half - as a cop in the Granny scene and the workman. The workman gets to utter the first spoken words of the musical - atop a ladder! My second appearance onstage is as the bombastic and overbearing Mr Marks - a candidate for the worst employer of the decade, nay the century. I have a natty outfit that really belies what a nasty character he is. My other role in the first half is Kevin, Roger Debris's designer, in an outrageous pink, red and lime outfit. In Act 2, I have a wonderful opportunity to clown it up as Donald Dinsmore in the audition scene, and I realised I have pinched a minute [and probably unrecognisable] bit of Frank Fonteine of the "Hello, Mr Denehy" sketches in the Jackie Gleeson Show of the sixties [see I do remember...] in making up the performance. But that's only a fraction of Donald's little performance. I reappear as the workman in opening night. A frantic costume change sees me in my only chorus role as a Bavarian peasant in Springtime for Hitler". I then appear as O'Rourke, and I won't deny the Keystone Cops influence there! Finally, I adopt the role of The Judge in the Courtroom scene. Apart from the finale, that's the end of a very busy and enjoyable night.
Mr Marks, The Judge, Kevin, Donald Dinsmore, O'Rourke, The Workman, Bavarian Chorus, The Producers, dir. Ally Pope, Jally Productions, The Cavern Theatre, Noosa, NoosaLongWeekend program, 4 - 12 July; The Events Centre Caloundra, 18 - 20 July; Redcliffe Cultural Centre, 26 July. Details here.
30 May 2008
Change of agent
I am now represented by Brisbane agent, Liza Brock.
22 May 2008
Second trial newsletter for Sunshine Coast actors published
A second trial edition of the newsletter for Sunshine Coast has been posted at http://www.jmcdonald.info/scan-jun-08.html.
30 April 2008
My one-act comedy, A Shoe in the Hand, narrowly missed selection in the Noosa Arts Theatre National One Act Play competition. I'm not surprised it missed out: it was completed on the very afternoon it was due to be copied, bound and posted, so the ending suffered somewhat. A Doorknock Away missed short-listing in the Patrick White Award [I'm nothing if not cheeky!] and has been submitted for the Griffin Award. Writing on Spooked has proceeded apace recently with about an hour of script having been written.
24 April 2008
I am pleased to say that I have now joined the Equity section of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. I haven't received much paid work, but am hoping for more professional opportunities in the future.
17 April 2008
Actors' newsletter under consideration for Sunshine Coast actors
I am considering the production of a newsletter for Sunshine Coast actors, which will be distributed to subscribers by email for a nominal annual fee if enough actors were interested. A sample can be viewed at http://www.jmcdonald.info/scan-apr-08.html.
2 April 2008
Rehearsals start for The Producers
Rehearsals commenced this week for The Producers by Jally Productions. I have 10 spots including Mr Marks, The Workman, Donald, and The Judge. As well, I have some chorus roles. It promises to be a lot of challenging fun.
11 March 2008
Role in short film
Unable to take the lead role offered because of commitments to The Importance of Being Earnest, I played the role of Newsreader in a short film, Plain Old Stan made on the Sunshine Coast by Mitchell Birks and Richard Bruinsma.
28 January 2008
Next role: The Importance of Being Earnest
The role of Canon Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest with the Starlight Theatre Cooperative is my first foray into theatre in Brisbane. This week marks the start of four intensive weeks of rehearsal followed by 18 performances over three weeks Performances will be held from 28 February until 15 March.
23 January 2008
Roles in The Producers
Jally Productions is putting on The Producers at Sunshine Beach Caloundra and Redcliffe in July. I read late for the production, and will be performing in a number of roles, including the accountant, Marks, and some choral work.
7 January 2008
Highlights in 2007
The undoubted highlight in playwriting was competing A Doorknock Away and winning the Sunshine Coast Literary Association Play of the Year. Subsequently, the play was produced as a staged reading at Noosa Arts Theatre in September 2007. 2007 also saw the completion of a one-act comedy, A Shoe in the Hand.
Acting was curtailed last year when I suffered from pneumonia and subsequent infections. However playing Inspector Craddock in A Murder is Announced represented a further dvelopment in my acting career. A definite highlight was playing the Prosecutor's role in the ABC's Australian Story episodes Parts 1 & 2, Body of Evidence. Finally, it was a thrill to have the opportunity of attending an open audition for the Queensland Theatre Company. I performed the opening monlogue of Martin Dysart from Equus and a speech from Colonel redfern in Look Back in Anger. A lowlight was the cancellation of Look Back in Anger three days before the opening night.
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© 2007 Jim McDonald